Friday, December 11, 2009


General Impressions: Hmm... funny how our memories can be rather selective. I remembered this episode as somekinda Murder She Wrote tribute with all that 80's soap opera the lives of rich people angle. And I was like „oh.“ I kinda somehow managed to separate all the small touching moments of Topher and Ballard and Echo's Murder She Wrote into different episodes in my head. So yeah, surprised to realize that one of the best moments were in this episode. And I didn't actually mind the
Murder She Wrote story this time. I kinda enjoyed this time.

Ballard was really braked with this episode. Mellie just going with her low self-esteem "it doesn't have to mean anything" speech and then Ballard's eyes... a decision, rough sex, and a sad aknowledgement that he too is a Dollhouse client.

I remember how painful it felt when Boyd couldn't be Echo's handler anymore. This really rubs it in.

And Topher's birthday. So sad. So lonely.

Adelle: "Loneliness detaches. Sometimes the people who need reaching out the most are the ones least capable of it."

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment: This episode doesn't really provide any writing material for this section since Echo had no personal moments in this episode. All the Dollhousey goodness was being done with the other characters. I guess this episode happened when it wasn't exactly clear that how they were going to be allowed to do the show. With the show that Dollhouse now has become and end, this episode does seem a bit out of place. Very out of place. But in that alternative universe where Dollhouse seasons lasted 24 episodes and it had 5 seasons, and each season had a bunch of stand-alones... I guess it would have fitted there. But in this "Dollhouse the Miniseries" dimension it's kinda out of tune with the rest of the episodes. However the Dollhousey goodness was great. The revelation that it was Topher's birthday made it all so tragic and Ballard's shower scene... heartbraking.

Foreshadowing: Oh yeah, rich people would definitely use the bodies of worthless lower castes to have everlasting life. And Adelle's "I'm not planning on presiding over the end of Western civilization" seems so ironic now.

Grading: Eh, it's a B-C thingy. Kinda like Stage Fright.

Can't wait for tonight's episodes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Spy in the House of Love

General Impressions: This felt like a season 2 episode. Perhaps it's the same pieces falling together with a touch of descending into hell, that leaves you with a feeling like someone ripped a hole in your soul and you want more. But it's not just that. Echo in this episode was Echo – really season 2 Echo, so very close to what Echo was in episodes what we now just saw last friday.

Heh, it's funny how Dollhouse wanted to end Echo with giving her a sense of closure... but she's even more Echo. People are like talking important stuff before her and she's listening and thinking along. It was just so crazy. I'm doing Topher's body language here. The thing with the hands, the head and the stuttering. Echo's amazing.

Really amazing episode. The way it starts... you know something dark is going to happen... but to whom?

You know, a lot of these things that have now happened in past 4 episodes... much of that was hinted by True Beliver. Miss Lonelyhearts got it's first mention there. First signs of Victor/Sierra romance. And of course Echo's "I see perfectly" when looking at Dominic. Speaking of Dominic... very powerful stuff. What he said through Mellie, that Dollhouse deals with fantasies but that's not their true purpose. So true. That Rossum is going to destroy the world. So true. He's right. And he helps Ballard in his quest. But he despises the dolls. He can't stand them. He's mean. He didn't smile when Sierra was talking about killing Topher.

Let's look it from Echo's perspective. There's this guy who walks around and yells a lot and then everyone is unhappy. Tragic really.

And Ballard. This was the moment when I was really starting to fall for Ballard. This obsessed desperate guy. I like that sort of thing. And then his only attachment with reality turns out to be unreal. Damn. I wonder, Ballard hasn't met Dominic, right? I wonder if he will... I mean Dominic sort of helped him and everything.

Lot of pain in this episode. Very intimate look at Adelle. All that Miss Lonelyhearts fantasy. And then Dominic. Total breakdown. And concluding with Boyd's slight pain with Echo getting a new handler. Now it's time to look this episode from Echo's point of view.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
As I already said Echo is very season 2-ish in this episode. She walks around, she notices things, she listens to what people say and even thinks along. It's crazy. And very cute. Eliza might be a slutty sexy type, but Echo's all cute.

From her perspective, there's this guy who once tried to kill her and now that guy walks around and makes everyone sad. Then there's November who she just said hello to. Then she waves at her when November's on the balcony, but November is different. Then mean guy takes Sierra and she follows them and suddenly Sierra's different. It's also funny that Echo's hearing is rather selective. She tunes in to Boyd's and Saunders discussion when they are talking about how the system is flawed. And she hears changed Sierra talking about killing Topher. So she goes to Topher. For some reason she's thinking of Topher as part of her flock. And she states it very echoianly clear. Change me so I could help you.

And then when she's programmed with her mad spy-detector skills, she's again doing Echoian observations. She's interviewing those people and making all those small meaningful observations. She really made Saunders pause.

In Grey Hour Echo makes a statement "I'm not broken." Dominic calls her a broken doll. They fight. Echo wins. And then she says "I'm not broken."

Dominic: After you beat me to a pulp, they're gonna erase me. But first they're gonna erase you.
Echo: I can take care of myself.
Dominic: I know. That's why I'm smiling. Because one day you'll be erasing them. Even after all this, they still won't see it coming. Sooner or later everybody gets theirs.

Also when they're programming a new handler for Echo, Echo looks at Boyd.

Foreshadowing: Dominic's rant could be rather prophetic.

Grading: Perfect.


General Impressions: I noticed a couple of things, that in my opinion in post-Bennett episodes world are rather revealing.

First thing, when that soldier doll comes home, Victor hides himself rather knee-jerkly, while others are hiding in normal way. They are sitting behind the car and watching. Victor acts like he's about to go under the car. Which seems to imply that Victor is not just a former military guy, but he is also in trouble with them.

Second thing, Echo (or Caroline) is saying that she thinks doctor Saunders is a prisoner like them. So true.

Third thing, Boyd says "Echo wanted to save us all." Notice the word us. Quite telling, no?

Echo's "huh?" face when Mike names a lot of sweet things and just mentioned mayonaisse. Okay, that was just a cute touch. Other cute touch was Victor finding a rather homosexual costume in his rack.

Ballard's dream. Beautiful. Weird. Funny. "I'm sorry but I have a thing she needs." Lol. He's really under pressure. Dancing between two fantasies. Sometimes fantasies can be quite tough.

We had no idea what would happen with Nolan, eh? He got what he deserved to be honest. I kinda felt sorry for him in Belonging... only kinda (very small tiny kinda), but this episode only added to my self-righteous satisfaction.

Dominic was right about the possible post-apocalyptic future that could happen with Dollhouse technology. But, why does he dislike the dolls so much? Oh well, his downfall. Wonder if we see him in season 2. I miss him.

It was very interesting to see how these people act with their original personalities restored. All those small touches. Victor's "I'm in a shower with naked people so I'll just think about baseball" chant and November's "Being naked is fun"... touches like that.

Echo's Journey:
After witnessing Bennett in season 2, and now watching this... methinks Echo did some really bad things between the time she escaped from the hospital and before she became a doll. She's very intense. Oh there is that caring side to her... like starting to wipe that handler's blood before giving up... but...

There's those opening lines from Ghost.

Adelle: Perhaps better than you have. We can take care of this mess.
Caroline: I don't deserve this. I was just trying to make a difference. Trying to just take my place in the world, like she always said, but now...

And now Adelle's "You couldn't bear to live with the consequences of your actions. I can't reveal it to you, I would be breaking a trust."

I'm starting to think that I know who that she in "like she always said" is. Or I'm just imagining to much. But that's what Dollhouse is. Each episode throws pieces of the puzzle in the air and then they all fall in place at the right time and it will be the greatest heureka moment ever.

Caroline wants to save everyone. So does Echo. But slightly differently. Like Topher said in Bennet two-parter "Echo's a friend." Echo looks out for all the prisoners in Dollhouse. Caroline just points guns at sad broken people. Echo has a more nuanced way of doing things. But yeah. Beautiful ending.

"The devil that you know, is better than the one you don't."

Hmm... wonder if that mountain resort will ever start to mean anything? Caroline was great. She really surprised Adelle. Gotta love their relationship.

Foreshadowing: Nolan, Victor&Sierra, Echo/Caroline need to save everyone and that line "I think doctor Saunders is a prisoner like us."

Grading: B for Beautiful. Actually it's P for Perfect.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Public Eye&Left Hand

General Impressions: Enver Gjokaj is my new God! Seriously awesome. He's like the new Nathan Fillion, only he's Enver. There's just no way to describe it.

This episode reminded me of a Buffy quote "It's about power."

I loved it how they are all working together... somewhat – Echo, Ballard, Boyd, Adelle and Topher. There was this sort of team vibe in these episodes.

I loved how misleading the episode 5 was. I was really thinking that Perrin's wife was a doll.... but, awesome.

And Topher's and Bennett's awkward attraction for each other... golden. Speaking of Bennett, perfection from the first moment. I guess there's more to Caroline than we've seen. I guess that must have happened between the time Caroline escaped from the hospital (Echoes flashback) and before she became a Doll.

This two-parter was just so rich in story and characters. Balancing brilliantly between regular and guest characters – Perrin and his discovery, his wife the handler, Bennett, Topher, Echo, Ballard and November. Dollhouse is blowing it's wad and I love it.

I just hope they manage to put a bit of Boyd's background somewhere there too in these last 6 episodes. And hot sex between Ballard and Adelle. I'm a Badelle, or should it be Paudelle? Since you know. Speaking of Ballard, can't wait to see what he is going to do.

Echo's Journey:
Echo has really changed. I love how Echo has produced a really deep philosophical thinking to the stamp words of Dollhouse. As in, she's thinking in those words, because that's the vocabulary she possesses, (but she really has made the meaning of those words her own) but what she means by them is something much more meaningful and deeper. "You try to be you're best." - with a really understanding look. "I understand. I don't want to fall asleep. Not even for a little while." - with a look like she really means it.

"She's broken. Let's go." Okay the last one wasn't very philosophical, but "brokeness" is a big part of Echo's philosophical system. Echo is a warrior-philosopher. Or hero of the working class. Or just crazy. Depends on your take on the show.

Gotta love Echo-speak. "You just awoke a lot of people and they all think that you're a bitch!" We can see how guarding Echo is of her friends. November is sad. Echo sees that.

And it's funny that by now the whole Dollhouse crew is like discussing these things with her. Their body language... and Topher's "Echo's a friend" to Bennett. Makes you think about Bennett's words that Caroline has hold over people. Kinda seems true, doesn't it. Because Adelle would have had a reason to Attic Echo a long time go, but in the first episodes it sort of hinted that Adelle admires Echo (or Caroline in her). It's quite interesting. You can even see a rather meaningful thoughtful glance from Topher when Adelle is speaking about using every resource to find poor defenseless Echo.

Oh and "They're in your head but you don't have to listen, you don't have to be what they tell you to be, you can belong to you!" - best definition of libertarian socialism ever.

Friday, December 4, 2009


General Impressions: This is a really great idea. I mean, what better way it is to know a character than to make them all high. Brilliant. I think this is also the first episode that sort of paints out Rossum Corporation as the "ultimate evil" of this show.

I liked how ashamed Adelle was when Topher was a bit too Tophery with Adelle's superior. Slight hint that there's a slight dissonance between Adelle at home (Dollhouse) and Adelle at work (Rossum).

In Belonging we saw Victor's war flashback... hinting that it's going to play out in future episodes. I had forgotten that there was a war flashback in this episode too. Perhaps we will see something of Victor's war past tonight?

Like any other character in Dollhouse Dominic isn't really a bad person. This sort of thing that they're basically good people... or more precisely, just normal broken people with good/kind moments to them adds a lot of nuances to Echo's tale of self-liberation from mental slavery (my take on the show is really just blacking and whiting the whole thing. I liked how he apologized to Echo.

And those being high moments were just so good.

This episode also hints at a very complex relationship between Echo/Caroline and Adelle. We have gotten a few moments so far that hint that Adelle admired E/C. Adelle also seems to believe that there is a core something, a soul, that cannot be wiped. You can see it Omega when she's all „damn he's hot“ when Ballard comes out with the same idea. I really hope they have some hot MILF action planned for these remaining 9 last episodes. Badelle is better than Becho. Anyway, Adelle fears that Caroline is punishing her, that Caroline is there... aware.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
Finally we can compare Caroline and Echo. Well to be honest, they're not that different. It's just Caroline is very diluted Echo, Caroline is 25% of what Echo is. She is Echo anchored down by her cultural limitations – all that militant veganism and PETA activity. She also is inconsiderate about people in her life. Echo has learned to observe people. Echo would have noticed that Caroline's boyfriend pissed his pants when he discovered that Caroline was actually serious. And Echo's boyfriend would have been cool – like Spike or something. Echo's boyfriend wouldn't have made me feel dissapointed or annoyed. :awkward pause: Okay... so yeah.

Of course there are similarities. After all Echo is Caroline's core being. Caroline and Echo share the "to the end, going all the way" thing. When they see something is wrong then they go all the way trying to bring it down. Similar way of falling into things too big for them. I think I read something that hinted that one of those December/Friday two hour episodes depicts how it happens with Echo. Of course I tried to avoid spoilers so I just assume the attic thing will happen to her.

I don't really have an explanation why Echo felt the need to go to Rossum School when she saw it in the news. But we can see that Echo is beneath all those imprinted personalities. That this show sides with Ballard when he says in Omega that the core being never changes. So when the sleeping giant Echo gets a hint of something, the imprinted personality goes bye-bye and Echo gradually surfaces more and more.

I really have no idea what that thing meant where Echo chases that guy and where Caroline runs with her boyfriend. One of those small symbolic ironies moment. But to interpret a deeper thing out from that goes beyond my capabilities.

Victor is NSA and Dominic's reaction, tired Adelle after an exhausting day checks up on Echo and Echo walks all doll-like until a plant comes between her and the camera (okay so this is an interpretation thing, but I think it hints at Echo doing stuff that Adelle can't see.

Hey, until to Spy in the House of Love it's all one big continous arc (with groundwork laid in True Believer) that is just awesome. There really is no way to tear out a chapter and grade it as a stand-alone.

Man on the Street

General Impressions: I found the conversation between Ballard and Joel Mynor to be really good classic Whedon. Two people just talking and it's awesome. And I liked how he hitted it right when he suggested that Ballard is basically living out his fantasy. Suddenly the knight in shining armor gets tarnished.

And I like how Ballard tries to then not live his fantasy and falls into another fantasy constructed for him specially by the Dollhouse. Lot of small ironies in this show.

Boyd was all cool in this episode with punching that people through the window. We also start to see something of Adelle's nature, with her orchestrating a rather symbolic revenge death on that rapist guy. But until to that scene we didn't know enough about Adelle and I and probably quite a lot of others actually thought she was going to do something vicious.

Sierra just gets it really bad. First an egocentric millionaire kidnaps her and drugs her into insanity, then sells her to Dollhouse so he could fuck her in so many different ways, then her handler rapes her before bedtime. At least she has Victor.

Echo's Journey to Enlightenment:
Echo notices that Sierra has a problem. She hears her crying at nights. She then goes to tell it to people that can do something about it. She tells it to Boyd, cause she trusts him. Boyd solves it and kicks ass. Echo knows how these things work. In Belonging she does a similar things, but approaches Topher then.

Echo also says to Adelle that it's not finished. That geek guy was broken, repeating his unfulfilled day of making his wife happy, and now because of Ballard he was robbed again of that day. So Echo finishes it. Sure it can be interpreted as "pity sex", but in Echo's state of mind sex is rather irrelevant... she sees broken and wants to fix it.

Some of the interviews with common people are quite insightful, Echo's message to Ballard.

Grading: Yeah, awesome.